Tips to Get Organized for the End of the Year NOW


Hey everyone! A few months ago I did a Periscope discussing how you can be prepared for the end of the year in advance. Now, I know in some parts of the country the school year is ending in a month, but a few of the tips may still help you AND there are always things to keep in mind for next year, right? I also have a little freebie to go along with this so if you'd like to find it, keep reading. I know I hate scrambling to get things done before the last day so let's try and plan ahead.
1. Get Organized in Advance
Just this basic concept is important, but can be tough to do. Think back to what you had to the last month of school last week. Make a lists, or if you had a hard copy list last year, find it. You can also search for teacher end of the year to-do lists online. Reminding yourself what you will need to deal with will help you know how much time you need to get things done and when you should really start. Here are a couple free lists or guides to ending the school year that I like and have used:

Clutter Free Classroom's Ending the School Year Guide
Scholastic's Closing the Year List (not a printable pdf, but you could print it out so you could actually check it off)
Sam and Scout's End of the Year Checklist
2. Think About and End-of-the-Year Gift for Your Students
Before you get stressed or worried, different people have different opinions about this one. First, mull it over and decide if you think it is appropriate to give your students a gift and if you would like to do so. If you would, think about what gift would be great for your kids. Research on Pinterest and online teacher blog. If you want to personalize it, you want to start working on it soon. For me, I always love giving  a book to each child and I use my Scholastic bonus points so it is free (thank  you so much Scholastic!). So  I start in the fall once I get to know my kids and each time we do a book order I grab 3-5 low point/low cost books that would be great for students. By the end of the year I have a book for each child and a couple backups (in case I find out June 10 that Sasha has just read Mr. Burke is Beserk and that was the book I had picked out for her!).



3. Figure Out When You Are Going to Do Report Cards
I dislike having to do report cards the last month of school but that I don't have a choice. Plus with so many extra tasks piled on and on, I get so overwhelmed. This trick works for me. I look at my calendar a couple months before school ends and find a weekend to mark in my calendar (not just in my head) that that is when I will do report cards. I simply cannot do report cards on weeknights, so weekends is my only option. If you want to work on them on weeknights, simply choose however many nights you need, and put them on your calendar, preferably NOT at the last minute. I find June is REALLY busy outside of school with class reunions, graduations, family parties, birthdays etc. so I do not want all of my weekends to fill up and then be stuck doing report cards the night before the last day of school. Plus it is always good to have them done, printed, copied, sand in the envelopes sealed one or two days in advance. One year I ended up in the emergency room the last day of school and luckily my cards were all set - my friend just double checked them and had the sub pass them out. Yikes, right? If I hadn't had them in the classroom, all done, my mom would have had to leave the hospital, go to my house, get them, drive them to school and drive them back!
4. Schedule End of the Year Activities Early
The other second grade teachers and I began to choose dates for end of the year events in February this year. For us the end of the year calendar fills up fast and we have to work around other grade levels. Plus we have special school-wide events to work around. Getting first dibs on dates for things like the field trip or the parent-student picnic saves so much stress! Also you can spread your end of the year events out better, like during a four week or so period if you get those dates in advance. If not you may end up having 2-3 big events in one week and being super busy or stressed!
5. Put Things Away as You Go
This is a tough one for me to keep up with but it really helps. If you put things away as you go, it will make your life easier. In my school, we have to put away or pack up almost everything in our classroom. That is a big job, and a few times I had to come back after to last day of school to do this packing up, especially with no air conditioning around the end of June. So, to save that from happening, as you finish units and finish using seasonal materials, get them in a box and labeled. I also would recommend that as you organize and put things away, that you leave items that you will need the first few weeks of school in clearly labeled bins or boxes and put those boxes at the front or on top of your classroom materials. That way when you open your door in the summer, what you need for day 1 will be right there and easily accessible!

Now, what is the freebie? The freebie is a PDF with a shorter version of these suggestions if you'd like to keep it handy without having to come to my website, or you can print it out and put it in your teacher planner. All you have to do is click on the Purple HELLO Bar at the top of the page and submit your email or on the HELLO pop up button on this page. You will also be subscribed to my newsletter and each month I send one newsletter with tips, freebies, and sometimes I even run giveaways through my newsletter! Your information is safe with me and never shared and you can subscribe at any time.
Thanks to Creative Clips for the fun and beautiful frames used to make the headings! 




What have you Missed on Periscope?

Reading and Writing Redhead: What have you missed on Periscope? Everything from organization tips, to tips from Jen Jones, to book suggestions for kids and more!
So if you haven't gotten on the Periscope app yet, you might have missed some helpful scopes! I have been on Periscope several times a week with tips for both classroom teachers and for Teachers Pay Teachers sellers and bloggers. If you have not seen my scopes, they do disappear after 24 hours on Periscope but I set my account up so  you can watch my replays on the website katch.me. 

I can also share a few of the katch replays here but let me give you a rundown of the Periscopes I have done so far (give or take a few).

Periscope is a great way for classroom teachers to get some PD in the exact area they need from home. You can be in your PJs for all we know. Whether you are looking for inspiration  to keep up a positive attitude, or ideas for differentiating math games, or organization tips, someone on Periscope has scoped about it.  Here are some of the topics of my past Periscopes for Teachers.

Periscopes for Teachers:
Tips to Set Your Class up for Success when you have a Substitute
IKEA Haul for the Classroom
How Teachers Can Securely and Privately Text Message Parents
Tip to Help you Stay Organized with all of those Student Papers
One Way I Keep my Reading Center Materials Organized
Flexible Seating
What are Interactive Notebooks?
Great Websites for Math Games and Resources for Teachers
Getting Organized for Parent-Teacher Conferences
Books for Black History Month
5 Things to Think about Now for the End of the Year
Fitting Exercise into a Busy Life
AND MORE!

Periscope is a terrific opportunity for  bloggers and TPTers to get advice and tips on running their business and managing their time. There have been scopes on scheduling pins for Pinterest, juggling family, teaching and blogging and many other topics, too!  Here are some of the topics of my past Periscopes for teacher bloggers.

Periscopes for Teacher Bloggers/TPTers:
Many from the Northeastern Regional TPT Meet Up including
Jen Jones of Hello Literacy
Tabitha Carro of Smartphone Marketing School and Flapjack Educational Resources
Erin Cobb of  Lovin' Lit
Jodi Durgin of Clutter Free Classroom
E-mail Scheduling
Tailwind for Pinterest
and tons more!

Here are a few of them:
For the rest, head over to katch.me!

Hope to see you on Periscope. I've also been trying out Facebook Live on my Facebook page so feel free to stop by and check me out there.